Burgsdorff, Sven Kühn von. (2009) Problems and Opportunities for the Incoming Obama Administration. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series, Vol. 9 No. 6, March 2009. [Working Paper]
[Introduction]. The paper attempts to shed some light on the challenges the new US administration is likely to face when addressing the contentious issue of American policy towards Cuba. An informed discussion of the problems and opportunities this may imply for the Obama administration will have to take into account the lessons of past policy approaches, notably the effect of the 47 year old US embargo against Cuba. On the basis of a critical analysis of past experience tentative answers to the following questions need to be found, in particular: What are the prospects for economic and political change in Cuba? Is the US offer to lift the embargo a credible ‘bargaining chip’ in future US-Cuban relations? Will the new administration attempt to fundamentally overhaul the traditional policy towards Cuba in the short to medium term? What are the more likely steps the new administration might be willing to take in the next two years? In what way and to what extent will possible US policy changes towards Cuba impact on US foreign relations and in particular with respect to the countries of the Western Hemisphere?
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